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Ref ID: 36852
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Grave, Peter
Kealhofer, Lisa
Phon, Kaseka
Heng, Piphal
Stark, Miriam T.
Marsh, Ben
Ea, Darith
Chhay, Rachna
Marriner, Gary P.
Title: Centralized power/decentralized production? Angkorian stoneware and the southern production complex of Cheung Ek, Cambodia
Date: 2021
Source: Journal of Archaeological Science
Notes: Article number 105270
Abstract: In this paper we highlight the potential of compositional characterisation (NAA) of Khmer stonewares for understanding regional economic development in the Angkorian Empire (c. 9 th −15 th c CE). A central feature of the Angkorian economy was the precocious development of sophisticated craft industries. Of the multiple crafts produced in this empire, stoneware production stands out for two reasons: empire transport networks closely articulated with the location of stoneware production complexes best known in central Angkor and on the Khorat plateau northwest of Angkor; and distribution/consumption patterns of Angkorian stoneware map directly onto the empire's geopolitical extent. As part of a larger geochemical provenancing project concerned with Khmer stoneware production and exchange, we present and discuss results for Cheung Ek, a southern Cambodian provincial complex for production of both stoneware and earthenware. The similarities (shared local resources) and differences in the organization of local production are striking between stoneware and earthenware production. Comparison with previously published Khmer stoneware kiln complexes confirms that each has a unique and readily identifiable geochemical profile. By establishing a geochemical baseline this work highlights the potential of stonewares for developing a deeper understanding of Khmer craft production and distribution dynamics in future comparisons between stoneware production, Khmer settlement and ritual contexts. This elemental baseline will also enable future evaluation of the potential discriminating power of other, field deployable but less sensitive non-destructive analytic techniques such as pXRF and pLIBS, particularly in relation to extending this work to checking production origins of complete Khmer stoneware vessels held in museum collections.
Volume: 125